Why Is Grass Seed So Expensive?

Why is Grass Seed so Expensive

If your yard doesn’t naturally grow grass, you may have to turn to grass seed to revitalize your property. Having healthy grass around your property will increase your home’s value and make your space seem more inviting, too. However, like most things in this world, it comes with a cost.

Grass seed can get fairly expensive, which is why it’s good to know what goes behind the end price. The cost of grass seed varies depending on many different factors, including transportation costs, growing location, machinery costs, how much seed you need, and the type of grass seed you’re purchasing, too.  

In this article, we’re going to dive into what impacts the overall cost of grass seed, what types you can purchase, and how you can save money on your project as well. Let’s get started!

Grass Seed Cost Factors

Growing Location

Grass seeds are usually grown on farmland, which may seem intuitive, but it does impact the overall cost. This is because farmers essentially have to give up plots of their land to grow the grass instead of their other crops. To make up for this loss, farmers get paid extra to grow the grass, which then translates into a higher cost to purchase it, too.

Production & Transportation Costs

To grow and harvest grass, manufacturers need to use a lot of specialized and expensive machinery, which already will increase the cost of the final product. Furthermore, the harvested seeds need to be coated, so they stay healthy during the transportation phase. To top it off, shipping costs are also getting more expensive.

Finally, many professionals will increase their costs with the idea that it’s covering extensive and ongoing research to always be finding better grass varieties. All in all, it’s an expensive industry and the consumer has to pay for it.

Amount of Seed You Need

Obviously, the more seed you buy, the more expensive the price. However, you may find you’ll actually save money when you buy more at once rather than a little bit at a time. If you’re planning to undertake a larger project, consider buying in bulk. That said, don’t buy in bulk for smaller projects because grass seed can go bad.

Grass Seed Types

There are at least 11 established types of grass grown around the world, and the type you want for your property will impact the overall cost. However, your final decision will not just be based on personal preference. Many varieties will only thrive in specific areas, so it’s important to do your research. This leads us to this next section…

Different Types of Grass Seeds

The total cost you pay for your grass seed is going to depend on what type of grass you want to plant. This is going to be based on where you live and your personal preferences, too. There are many varieties of grass seed out there, but we’re going to briefly talk about some of the main types used around residential and commercial properties alike.

Fescue Grass

Typically, Fescue grass thrives on properties throughout the Midwest. They cost between $60 to $75 for about 25 pounds of seed, which will cover approximately 5,000 square feet. Fescue is dark green and has narrow blades that grow in clumps.

Kentucky Bluegrass

Kentucky bluegrass costs between $80 and $100 for 25 pounds. It grows best in the Northeast but still requires a good deal of maintenance, especially when compared to other grass types. This type of grass has shallow roots and grows much more slowly. It thrives in cool weather.

Bermuda Grass

Bermuda grass is a bit more expensive, typically ranging from $105 to $130 for 25 pounds. It is most used throughout the Southeast region of the United States and thrives in dry, hot weather. That said, it still requires a lot of maintenance and upkeep.

Ryegrass

Ryegrass costs between $25 and $30 per 25 pounds of seed. It’s best suited for the pacific northwest and is most often used on farmland versus residential lawns. It grows very quickly and doesn’t need as much rain water as other types, making it a resilient and convenient choice.

Bahia Grass

Bahia grass is a great choice for properties in the South because it doesn’t need as much water and can survive in year-round heat. It is usually $120 to $160 per 25 pounds. Bahia grass is low-maintenance and coarse. It has a deep root and is very durable, making it a great choice for less temperate regions.

Centipede Grass

Centipede grass is another similar option to Bahia grass as it can easily survive a drought and consistently high temperatures. It typically costs between $100 and $150 for 25 pounds. Centipede grass grows a bit slower and doesn’t need any additional nutrients to thrive, which will help you save on fertilizer. Plus, this type of grass will stay green all year long.

Zoysia Grass

Zoysia grass is about $220 to $240 per 25 pounds. It can survive in any type of weather, so it can be planted virtually anywhere. This type of grass does have a dormancy period, so it won’t stay green year-round, but it is one of the quickest to flourish once more. To top it off, it’s very low maintenance.

Tall Fescue Grass

Tall fescue grass is another grass type that can survive in periods of drought. This is because it has very deep roots. For this reason, it thrives in central states from the Atlantic Coast through Kansas, as well as southern states. On average, it costs between $150 and $300 per 25 pounds.

Grass Seed Alternatives

If you’d rather skip the grass seed all together and avoid frequent mowing, too, there are plenty of alternatives to planting grass around your property. Here are some other options to take into consideration:

  • Grow a wildflower meadow
  • Plant ground cover plants
  • Use pollinator-friendly sedum
  • Plant moss
  • Lay down gravel
  • Install artificial grass or turf
  • Try bark or slate chippings
  • Build a large deck

How to Save Money When Planting New Grass

Though buying and planting grass seed can be an expensive affair, there are things you can do to save money. Instead of breaking your budget, follow these four simple guidelines:

  • Buy your grass seed in bulk. Like we said above, buying all your grass seed at once will be much more cost-effective in the long run. It’s the better option if you can handle the high initial cost. Just be sure you need to use the majority of it, so it doesn’t expire.
  • Choose the right grass type. The last thing you want to do is buy and plant your grass seed only to realize it won’t grow properly. Do your research and find the best grass variety for your region.
  • Plant your own grass. Instead of paying for contractors to plant your grass seed, consider tackling the project yourself. With the research and manual power on your side, you should be able to get the job done on your own and cut out those labor costs.
  • Regularly maintain your lawn. The best way to save money in general is simply to take care of your lawn. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Do whatever your type of grass needs to survive and tackle problems as soon as they arise.

Related Questions

What makes a plant a grass?

Most grasses will have round, hollow stems, blade-like leaves, and extensively fibrous root systems. They are low, green, nonwoody plants that are in the grass family, which is called Poaceae.

When should I plant my grass seeds?

You should plant cool-season grass seeds in the late summer or early fall. Typically, August through September is the best time. If you have warm-season grass seeds, plant them in late spring or early summer.

How often should I water grass seed?

Once you have a lawn, you should water it every so often, not every day. However, with grass seed, you need to be watering them twice a day for about five to 10 minutes each time. For best results, water them early in the morning and again in the middle of the day.

Ready to Get Your New Grass Seed?

Planting new grass can seem like a challenging—and expensive—ordeal, which is why it’s always important to do your research first. So, now you know why grass seed costs so much, what types of seed you can buy, and how you can save money on your project, too. All that’s left to do is actually buy it!

Kerry Souder

I am a copywriter and editor based in the Las Vegas area with nearly a decade of experience under my belt writing landing pages, cost guides, blog posts, newsletters, case studies, and social media content. I have a degree in Strategic Communication and experience working in both the account and creative spheres. My goal is to always be discovering new interests and bettering myself as a writer and editor along the way.

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